Tag Archives: copyright

ABC blames readers

The ter­ri­ble thing about A&R’s bank­rupt­cy is that it’s a direct result of a fool­ish gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy (and maybe oth­er things, too; see the update below). “For­mer NSW pre­mier Bob Carr, a direc­tor at rival book­store chain Dymocks, said the gov­ern­ment was dri­ving retail­ers to the wall by fail­ing to open the whole­sale book mar­ket […]

ACTA is an attack on the WTO

India has com­plained in the recent TRIPS coun­cil that the ACTA pro­vi­sions mod­i­fy the bal­ance of rights and oblig­a­tions estab­lished by a mul­ti­lat­er­al agree­ment (TRIPS) cov­er­ing the same domain. The secret nego­ti­a­tion of this pluri­lat­er­al agree­ment by a cabal that includ­ed Aus­tralia is an attack on that bal­ance and hence on one of the pil­lars […]

Remove the buy-local tax on books

Yes! The right rec­om­men­da­tion for a more com­pet­i­tive and bet­ter-informed (or, at least, bet­ter-read) Aus­tralia.

The Gov­ern­ment should repeal Australia’s Par­al­lel Import Restric­tions (PIRs) for books. The repeal should take effect three years after the date that it is announced.” Extract from Research report — Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Com­mis­sion

This dis­cre­tionary quo­ta on books main­tains local mar­gins for the glob­al book pub­lish­ers and print­ers at the cost of read­ers and com­pet­i­tive Aus­tralian pub­lish­ing. Now maybe—at last—we will see a more aggres­sive release of elec­tron­ic titles (‘Kin­dle books’) in Aus­tralia. Wel­come to the 21st cen­tu­ry.

Manufacturing copyright ‘consensus’

The path to copyright consensus in Canada

A fas­ci­nat­ing analy­sis of a ‘coali­tion of inter­est’ at work—strategies often alleged but rarely detailed with such clar­i­ty.

Geist shows how three Cana­di­an enter­tain­ment indus­try orga­ni­za­tions have man­u­fac­tured the appear­ance of widen­ing con­cern over copy­right pira­cy and grow­ing evi­dence of its impact.

It is not just that these reports all receive finan­cial sup­port from the same orga­ni­za­tions and say large­ly the same thing.  It is also that the reports each build on one anoth­er, cre­at­ing the false impres­sion of grow­ing momen­tum and con­sen­sus on the state of Cana­di­an law and the need for spe­cif­ic reforms” Extract from Michael Geist

Geist notes that expe­ri­enced politi­cians seem to under­stand what’s going on here. That’s to be expect­ed: this is noth­ing more than an elab­o­rate, effec­tive and, in the scheme of things, accept­able lob­by­ing strat­e­gy.

But that knowl­edge doesn’t shield polticians—or the pub­lic debate—from the mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of either the data or the ‘con­sen­sus’ unless the insight is wide­ly shared. Few make the effort that Geist has made to eval­u­ate either.

Readers pay for publishers’ protection

Joshua Gans seems to agree with me that access to low-cost Kin­dle e-books is one rea­son to get rid of the ban on com­pet­i­tive (‘par­al­lel’) import of books.

So why is it pos­si­ble for hard copies of books to move across inter­na­tion­al bor­ders but not elec­tron­ic copies? The answer is that pub­lish­ers, who have intel­lec­tu­al monop­o­lies over these works, for their own rea­sons have not done the deals to make it pos­si­ble. ” Extract from The Age

He sug­gests that pub­lish­ers could try a ‘fair trade’ pric­ing scheme for local pub­lish­ing. But they do that already.

Was the Pirate Bay judgement biassed?

A Swedish Court’s con­vic­tion of the prin­ci­pals in Pirate Bay, a bit-tor­rent site that facil­i­tat­ed shar­ing of copy­right mate­r­i­al may be only the first step in a sig­nif­i­cant case on dig­i­tal copy­right abuse.

The deci­sion will like­ly have no impact on the shar­ing of copy­right mate­r­i­al. There are hun­dreds of tor­rent aggre­ga­tors and prob­a­bly thou­sands of dif­fer­ent ways to dis­guise the shar­ing of dig­i­tal files. The Pirate Bay case is inter­est­ing main­ly for its legal find­ings that broad­en the respon­si­bil­i­ty of what are, in effect, search engines for the ille­gal actions of their users.

But the deci­sion could be seri­ous­ly taint­ed by what looks like bias on the part of the Judge and the inves­ti­gat­ing police.

French internet law blocked, for now

In a coup de théâtre, the oppo­nents of the inter­net sur­veil­lance bill man­aged to block it in the Sen­ate on 9 April. But not for long, it seems:

L’UMP sem­ble vouloir effac­er cet affront en faisant revot­er au plus vite le pro­jet de loi. ‘Le vote négatif de l’Assemblée nationale retarde l’adoption du texte, ça ne le bloque pas. On va repass­er le texte avec une lec­ture à l’Assemblée et une lec­ture au Sénat avec un vote con­forme’ dans les deux Cham­bres, a déclaré Roger Karoutchi, le secré­taire d’Etat aux rela­tions avec le Par­lement. ‘Ce texte sera de toute manière bien sûr voté. On le fera à la ren­trée des vacances par­lemen­taires’ de Pâques.” Extract from Le Monde

The UMP [Pres­i­dent Sarkozy’s cen­ter-right major­i­ty par­ty] appears to want to erase this set­back by send­ing the bill back to a vote as soon as pos­si­ble. ‘The neg­a­tive vote in the Assem­bly slows the adop­tion of the text, but doesn’t stop it. We will resub­mit the text with a (full) read­ing of the bill in both the Assem­bly and the Sen­ate and a line vote in both cham­bers’ declared Roger Karoutchi, the Sec­re­tary of State for Par­lia­men­tary Rela­tions. ‘This text will absolute­ly be vot­ed on. We’ll do it as soon as Par­lia­ment returns from its East­er break’.”